Disciplining Our Youth

Education is a major source of concern in Black communities; they are understaffed and under resourced. Hence, our children are being gravely under served in perhaps the most important social institution. We are in the midst of a new wave of school reform in the nation and there are several models attempting to overturn this fate. Examples include schools focusing on Black male pride, health and wellness, or school culture and safety. The last focus is one I am most interested in because my observation has made me concerned although I have yet to make a judgment. In a school where the school culture strives to provide safety for its students, is it necessary to implement more rigid discipline measures? Can urban children have the freedom to express themselves in lunch and in the halls without threatening the well being of themselves and others?

Hip Hop Lets the Mentally Excluded Speak Part 2

America may have mentally excluded its children for two decades, but Generation Y has made it back to the center of public consciousness. Last week I spoke on the critical perspective of Kendrick Lamar–a partial result of the psychiatry and education partnership that eliminates children from “normal” life”. Evidently, marking Kendrick for the margins was a defective diagnosis; considering his demonstration of the inadequacies of American institutions. Resistance against the divisive authority of education and psychiatry return this week with the flow of Hopsin. This emcee from Cali approaches beats with a vicious delivery and criticism that no one is safe from.

BYP MEMO: ‘Historic Turnout Among Black Youth in 2004 and 2008’


The Black Youth Project presents a new analysis of voting data that examines how the historic youth voter turnout in 2008 among young blacks and Latinos could impact the 2012 election. 

The fact sheet, entitled ‘Historic Turnout Among Black Youth in 2004 and 2008,’ is the second in a series entitled Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics released by the Black Youth Project of the University of Chicago.

Analysis reveals that education, income, and gender are key sources of variation in youth turnout.

NEW MUSIC: Nicki Minaj ‘Starships’

After delivering a jaw-dropping (and WTF-inducing) Grammy performance last Sunday, Nicki Minaj aims for radio ubiquity with her new single “Starships.”

Produced by Lady Gaga’s go-to producer RedOne, “Starships” strikes the perfect balance between Nicki’s signature rap-sung vocal delivery, and a larger-than-life, arena-sized dance-pop sound.

This could be be a massive hit.

A Critique Of Black History Month

Why is black history celebrated during the month of February? Because it’s the shortest month of the year. This joke has circulated in black communities for several years, and the cynicism embedded in it is telling. It points to a web of frustration, resignation and resentment which rarely fails to ensnare the observant black.

Black Policeman, Shot 28 Times by 4 Chicago Cops, Found Guilty of Attempted Murder?

Shockingly, Howard Morgan, a former police officer, was found guilty of attempted murder of the 4 Chicago cops that shot him 28 times (21 times in his back). Mr. Morgan miraculously lived and was acquitted in 2007 on two counts of aggravated battery with a firearm and one count of aggravated discharge of a firearm. Why would a 60 years old former officer with no criminal record, only minutes from his house, open fire on 4 heavily armed policemen? How can he be guilty of attempted murder, if he was acquitted for firing his gun? Mr. Morgan’s family has vowed to keep fighting. Below is a statement they’re circulating highlighting the many inconsistencies in this travesty of justice. Please sign the petition and do whatever you can to help.

The Voice: Remembering Whitney Houston (1963 — 2012)

The Voice. When one is colloquially known as such, it becomes easy to forget that such sound emanates from inside a human being. The Voice. A disembodied moniker. So spectacularly general, simply an article and noun sans the dressing of more instructive, clarifying wording: “of reason” or “of God” or “of an angel.” The Voice. So intangible, yet generating a viewable response that cannot be contained within the body, that must express itself in paroxysms of applause, spontaneous standing, or dimmed eyes, mouths agape, heads nodding in utter disbelief of what their ears have witnessed. The Voice. An appellation, like air or magic, that implies an ethereal otherworldliness, an omnipresence so unique that the one to which it refers can never be confused with another.

This weekend, The Voice lost its vessel. 

Weekly News Round-Up: Feb. 6-12

Continuing education main theme during black history tribute
Julie E. Greene, Herald Mail, 2/6/12


Flying club inspires youth to soar
Renée C. Lee, Chron News, 2/7/12


National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day: Fighting Stigma and Marginalization
Ernest Hopkins, Huffington Post, 2/7/12


Black church reaches out to gay, transgender teens
Meghan E. Irons, Boston Globe, 2/8/12


I Was a Teenage Black Panther
Jamal Joseph, The Atlantic, 2/8/12


100 Black Men of Augusta focuses on mentoring black youth
Staff Writer, The Augusta Chronicle, 12/9/12


Youths say ‘so what?’ about black history
Antionette Kerr, The Dispatch, 2/9/12


Pastor embraces hip-hop to reach Mass. youth
Chris Bergeron, Boston Globe, 2/11/12

Even “super cops” know that homicides are preventable, but Canadian politicians still fail to act.
Irvin Waller, The Mark, 2/11/12


National Black/HIV AIDS Awareness Day
Staff Writer, WCTV News, 2/11/12


Black women learn to sweat the hair style
Kristin Tillostson, Star Tribune, 2/12/11

Earl is Back. And how?

After two year’s hiatus, 17-year old “prodigy” of rap group Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All (OFWGKTA), launched his twitter account, announcing that Earl Sweatshirt is “home.” Shortly after, a youtube video with a snippet of an unheard track featured Sweatshirt demanding 50,000 followers on twitter within a day in exchange for new music. Three hours later, demand met. Fans have stormed twitter with rejoice at his return. Newly released song “Home” has gone viral. And 15-year-old-potty-mouth-prodigy turned disappearing-act turned student-at-a-Somoan-boarding-school is now ‘back’ with a latest of over 100,000 twitter followers and likely even more fans wondering “What’s next?”

California’s Marriage Battle, The Black Church and Remnants of Homophobia


In California, the fight for equality in marriage continues. Even though I have conflicting thoughts about marriage in general, I still believe that homophobia and intolerance is what drives decisions like prob 8. These issues as we all know, are nothing new. And many of the remnants of homophobia are just as strong in the black community as any other. In High School I went to a church that rallied students to stand in front of abortion clinics with red tape covering their mouth and black marker written on the tape displaying one simple word. “Life.” I never personally went on these escapades, but there was already a contradiction building between my personal life and my religious life, my God and my homosexuality, my religion and my passion for civil liberties. Beginning from before I was able to read, before I was old enough to understand what homosexuality was, before I began to have an attraction to any type of sex, I knew being gay “was wrong.” And I knew this single fact because of my up bringing in my grandmothers Baptist church. The bible verse that is most frequently used against homosexuals in the church is in the Torah, in the book of Leviticus “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination” What I know now, is conservatism and hate are concepts that one must be taught, and with prop 8 supporters in mind, there are institutions that breed hate and intolerance.